Gaming, whether the wargaming, role-playing, or computer variety, go hand-in-hand with sci-fi/fantasy and comic book conventions. Games are an interactive way to experience the adventures of one's favorite heroes (or villains), in one's favorite setting, from Middle Earth to the "galaxy far, far away..."
The organizers of the Emerald City Comicon, knew this and devoted two entire sections of the WA State Convention Center to gaming.
While tables in the above photo were only half-empty, keep in mind this was taken on a Friday afternoon. I'm sure by Saturday and Sunday, every seat was taken. Also, open gaming is often conducted after the official events come to a close.
In order to participate in table-top gaming, one needs playing pieces, or preferably miniature figures--painted figures. Bringing unpainted figures to a game is a social faux-pas and is like wearing white after Labor Day, or having red wine with fish. But not everyone has the patience to develop their skill. (Like me). So painting workshops, like the one pictured above, are also part of the venue of most conventions.
Now here is every gamers' favorite superhero--the game store owner.
Shown here, ready to leap tall game shelves in a single bound, Gamestore Man, is disguised as Chris Ewick of The Game Matrix, in Tacoma.
I spent several minutes chatting with Chris while he was giving several players a crash-course in one of the demo games he brought with him.
There were several other vendors in the gaming area. However, as my departure time drew near, the only vendor I spent time with were the folks at the BobaKahn booth. Some rare Star Wars Miniatures caught my eye and I was debating on whether to purchase any of them. But when I looked in my wallet, I realized I was down to my last $20 bill and I needed to pay for parking.
I left 15 minutes prior to the closing of the Exhibition Hall and my parking fee was $18. Just enough for 1/2 gallon of gas (at today's prices). I went home, tired and hungry, yet happy for my 5-star experience of my first comic book convention.
In the future, if I get a chance to attend all three days, I'll probably sit-in on some of the seminars and workshops and maybe even participate in a game, or two. (Unless I win the lottery, my budget couldn't afford a 3-day shopping spree). But even if I'm limited to just one day, next time I'll try to remember all the books and things I wanted to have signed this year--but forgot--and bring them along next time.
Until then, maybe the Spirits of ECCC Past Shows will help to remind me...